The winningest rider in Canadian Superbike history is reportedly returning for the 2022 racing season.
The Brantford Examiner ran an article on hometown hero Jordan Szoke last weekend, saying the 42-year-old Pro Superbike racer plans on returning to the national racing championship for next season, although he doesn’t have a ride lined up … at least, the deal is not signed yet. Szoke’s just coming off a two-year contract with Kawasaki, flogging the ZX-10R to an undefeated four-race championship series in 2020, and finishing third overall in the standings after a doubleheader at Calabogie, a tripleheader at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (aka CTMP or Mosport), and a season-ending doubleheader return to Calabogie. He won Race 2 and Race 3 at CTMP, but for the rest of the season, he wasn’t as strong.
Szoke’s problems partly stemmed from limited pre-season testing on the bike; COVID-19 meant he was unable to get his bike set up as properly as he would have liked at the start of the year.
For the past few years, Szoke has hinted at his retirement, but it sounds as if that’s going to be postponed for another season or two yet. Previously, Szoke has said he’d like to retire in front of his fans at a big event like the Mosport weekend, not in front of a tiny COVID-restricted crowd. While Alex Dumas took the championship in 2021, Szoke proved he’s still running with the front of the pack, so if he’s not back on the Kawasaki for 2022, no doubt some other team will be happy to sign him.
Remember: Ducati is returning to Canadian Superbike for 2022, and Szoke’s vast experience on Canada’s tracks could make him a very key sign-up for that new squad.
However, we understand Kawasaki is expecting to renew its deal with Szoke, and given his recent experience learning the ins and outs of the ZX-10R, and his long history on inline fours, we’d be surprised if he wasn’t with Team Green again at start of 2022.